Sunday, August 4, 2013

Rather An Ordinary Tale of An Extraordinary Journey

I visited my blog for reasons unrelated to content this past week (for work) and I noticed that the last post is from June 30th.   Oysh.  The backlog of reviews has definitely been weighing on me and my reading choices, so I thought I would take this perfect opportunity (down time in CL on Sunday) to finally update.  So where were we? Books Dov's grandmother got me for my birthday (oh what a coincidence it's my half birthday (that's SIX MONTHS later) tomorrow :) Anyway, after I finished The Dovekeepers (reviewed below) I moved on to the other one, The Alchemist.  It's a short little book that apparently got a lot of buzz amongst Dov's grandmother's set.  Translated from Brazilian, instant classic...

The book is a sort of folk tale (not an actual folktale I don't think), telling a kind of grand story of epic adventure fraught with meaning and destiny.  Also a fair number of religious overtones.  I'm not sure what I expected (not the least because I read this nearly six months ago :)) but given that it was (at least according to the blurb) a wildly popular, life-changing book, I guess it was a fairly revolutionary and moving story.  The scale was certainly impressive, like I said, fraught with destiny and significant decisions and life-or-death moments.  But did it resonate? Did I feel like the book had anything to say? I know the answer is no, I'm just trying to remember exactly why :) I guess there just wasn't much point.  The end of the story was the boy, after traveling from Spain to Egypt, finds out there's a treasure back home which has a nice, ironic feel to it.  But life lessons? Trust your heart, follow your dreams, be generous and faithful... Good stuff but nothing controversial, nothing innovative.  In short, a nice story, written well-enough (though of course it's just a translation) but I'm not exactly sure what made this book catch the public fancy.

Verdict: 3/5

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